'Liberticidal anti-terror laws must go'
Posted in the Anniston Forum
#1 Sep 15, 2011
As the United States positioned itself to respond to the September 11, 2001, attacks against it, it began by rearranging more than just military assets, but legislative ones, too.
In addition to an Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which granted the US president far-reaching powers to "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organisations, or persons he determines planned, authorised, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks", the United States went on to pass the infamous USA PATRIOT Act, which greatly reduced the restrictions on law enforcement and intelligence agencies when it came to carrying out surveillance, electronic and otherwise, on persons within and outside the country.
Other countries followed suit, and the last 10 years have seen a raft of new anti-terrorism legislation put in place, from Pakistan to Britain, from India to the Philippines.
The International Federation for Human Rights, an international rights advocacy group, however, in a recent report, argued that many of these laws use the "pretext" of fighting "terrorism" in order to legalise discrimination and the use of practices such as torture and extrajudicial assassinations.
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